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Archive for December, 2012

Visual Design: Finding Form in Photography

Visual Design: Finding Form in Photography

If you’ve ever studied art, you probably have at least some understanding of form. It’s one of the six classic design elements, and knowing how to use it will help you take photographs that have a creative edge and an artistic quality that greatly exceeds the common snapshot. Form is very similar to its cousin, shape, and it is important to understand the difference between the two, so you can start to develop an eye for how to use both elements to your advantage.
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The Differences between Civil, Nautical, and Astronomical Twilight

The Differences between Civil, Nautical, and Astronomical Twilight

Any photographer knows that the middle of the day casts the harshest and most unflattering light. It’s the light just before and after sunrise and sunset that we covet. But, if you go to a weather site and look up when sunrise and sunset are set to occur, you might be scratching your head since they list three different twilights. So, to make things easier on you, let’s set the record straight and delve into the differences between civil twilight, nautical twilight and astronomical twilight.
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How To Use Simplicity To Enhance Your Photos

How To Use Simplicity To Enhance Your Photos

We all have busy schedules between work, family, friends and our photography. A simple life is the thing of the past for most people these days. But, when it comes to photography, simplicity is almost always the better choice. If you think about it, simplicity works with all the genres. Whether sports, portraits, landscape, street, or wedding photography, the photos that emphasize minimalism are popular for a reason. The big lesson? Less is more!
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Scanning Film Negatives With Your DSLR Camera

Scanning Film Negatives With Your DSLR Camera

It’s a digital world. Our books are digital, our visual entertainment is digital, and our pictures are digital. But if you’ve been taking photos for more than a decade, you probably also have files full of old film negatives that don’t fit into the same mold as all of your digital-age images. And if you’re like most busy people, you probably haven’t done anything with them in years. So the question is, how can you get them out of that old, archaic storage system and into the real world with your other photos? Digitize them, of course! Here’s how.
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How To Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos

How To Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos

I know I’m always saying to avoid chaos in your photos, and let’s face it, what could be more chaotic than Christmas morning? But fear not, you can get great Christmas day images that are unencumbered by mountains of empty toy packaging, Grandma’s oh-so-cheesy collection of porcelain elves that seems to be in every single background and the strange, hovering presence of that extra guy your sister decided to bring along this year (who the heck is that guy anyway?) So how do you separate the beauty and charm of Christmas from the chaos of the festivities? Here are a few tips.
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Visual Design: Using Color in Photography

Visual Design: Using Color in Photography

Color is one of the six classic design elements, which also includes shape, form, line, texture and space. Like the other design elements, good use of color can evoke emotion and give the viewer something to think about.

Color is one of those things that was see all the time but often don’t notice, at least not on a conscious level. Sure, a beautiful field of bright red flowers will immediately catch our eye, as will a brilliant red sunset. But what we don’t notice is how subtle shades of color can affect mood and our perception of a scene, or how brilliant colors can send a strong subconscious message about what we’re seeing.
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Adding Dew Drops to Enhance a Macro Photograph

Filed in Macro, Tips by 7 Comments
Adding Dew Drops to Enhance a Macro Photograph

If you look at two macro photographs of the same flower, leaf, or spider web and the only difference is that one has a dew drop on it and the other doesn’t, the dew drop photo will be favored every time. That small bit of water adds so much to an image between light and reflection that it always draws the eye in to examine it a bit closer. It seems like photographers who capture these images are out there after every rainstorm waiting for the perfect light and drops to complete their nature image. Are they really wearing their galoshes and trekking through mud to find the right flower sprinkled in dew? Some might be, but I assure you, many are not. So, what’s the trick up their photo-sleeve? Read on.
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Budget-Friendly Gifts For Photographers

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Budget-Friendly Gifts For Photographers

Let’s face it, us photographers like expensive stuff. DSLRs, lenses, tripods, camera cases – and none of it comes cheap. So how do you please that photographer on your holiday gift list without mortgaging your home to do it? Yes! It is possible, and here’s a handy little shopping list to get you started.
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Visual Design: Using Texture in Photography

Visual Design: Using Texture in Photography

Why is Texture one of the essential visual design elements in photography? Well, if you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time avoiding drama in your life. Unless you’re particularly masochistic, you don’t need that kind of trouble. Your photos do, though. Drama is what makes for a compelling image. Drama is what differentiates a snapshot from a photo. But as photographers, we already have several things working against our quest for the perfect dramatic photograph.

The first one is that pesky third dimension, or lack thereof. Photography is a two dimensional medium, which means that one of the biggest challenges photographers face is making a two dimensional image look three dimensional. Short of smearing paper maché on your prints, there’s not much you can do to bring an actual tactile quality to your images, but there’s plenty you can do to fool your viewer’s eye into believing that it is looking at an object that exists in three dimensions.
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Licensing your Photographs

Licensing your Photographs

If you’ve ever considered turning your hobby into a profession, you’ve probably heard the term “licensing.” But if you aren’t completely sure what that means, don’t worry, you are not alone. Licensing is a many-faceted concept and it can be difficult to keep it all straight. Let’s clear it up.
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Visual Design: Effective Use of Space in Photography

Visual Design: Effective Use of Space in Photography

Here’s a quick quiz: empty space in a photograph is a) good b) bad. You’re right, it was a trick question. The answer is sometimes a, sometimes b, depending on your subject and scene. But the reason I asked you that question is because a common mistake among hobby photographers is in neglecting empty space altogether, all the time. The truth is that empty space can be a very effective compositional tool; the trick is in learning when to use it, and when not to.
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Fantastic Food Photography

Filed in Food, Tips by 3 Comments
Fantastic Food Photography

Think of those mouthwatering images of chicken marsala, blueberry pancakes, or this photo of grilled beef and asparagus. They almost always look better in the photos than they do on the plate; (unless of course mom made them). But, have you ever thought past the photo and wondered what preparations went into photographing the food? We all love to eat it, but there are also plenty of photographers who make a decent career in food photography.

If you’re not a professional food photographer, those blueberry pancakes can look great in photos or they can look tired and dishevelled. A lot of thought and preparation goes into the food photographs you see in cookbooks, print ads, posters, or menus. Like any other photography niche, it’s a speciality with its own art. I’ve compiled some thoughts for you to consider when photographing your favorite dishes and if you’re thinking of making this a career.
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Photography Workshops: Choosing The Right One for You

Photography Workshops: Choosing The Right One for You

With so many beginner and amateur photographers who want to learn as much as they can from those who are the “experts,” there has been a rise in the availability, medium and platform of photography workshops. But, with that rise, there are also pitfalls. Some of those teaching these workshops are doing so to supplement their income, but does that mean they’re a worthy instructor? Let alone the right instructor for you? On top of that, there are a lot of variations when it comes to workshops: location (destination, internet, DVD, etc.), price, class size, genre, and the instructor themselves. To help fish out the right workshop for you, I waded through the tide and pulled up some oysters.
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